SC upheld validity of Right to Education Act
SC upheld the constitutional validity of the Right to Education Act and said that the Act will not apply to unaided minority institutions.
The Constitution Bench of Supreme Court of India on 6 May 2014 upheld the Constitutional validity of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. In its decision, the apex court said that the Act is not applied to unaided minority institutions.
The five-judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court in its decision also upheld the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2010.
The Constitutional bench was headed by the Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha and comprised of Justice AK Patnaik, Justice Dipak Misra, Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya and Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla.
Earlier, the three-judge Bench of Supreme Court upheld the Constitutional validity of the Act by a majority of 2:1 on 6 September 2010 in a case, Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan vs Union of India & Anr. Following the decision of the three-judge bench, the matter was sent to the Constitutional Bench to make a decision on the validity of Clause (5) of Article 15 with effect from 20 January 2006 and the validity of Article 21A of the Constitution inserted by the Constitution (Eighty-Sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 with effect from 01 April 2010.
Clause (5) was inserted in Article 15 during the Constitution 93rd Amendment Act 2005. Under the Act, the States were given the power to make special provisions for members of the SCs, STs and socially and educationally backward classes to lay guidelines for admission to all educational institutions. The institutions included private unaided institutions except the minority institutions.
The Parliament enacted the right to education in 2009 to provide free and compulsory education to children between 6 and 14 years of age by inserting Article 21A.
The Act stated that any privately-managed unaided educational institutions have to admit 25 percent students of weaker sections.